"Local Lingo"                      

 

When CB radio was portrayed in the mass media, it was often associated with the colorful jargon which was adopted and used primarily by the truckers and other folks who used the highway channels (Channel 10 in the early 70's, then Channel 19 after 1975).  Most of us, who were already involved with the hobby, took a very negative view of this "trucker" lingo, once it had become too commercialized (and therefore no longer "cool").  Mostly we used plain English in our conversations (Especially in the later years), but that didn't stop us from using and creating some unique CB terminology of our own.  You won't find any "good buddies" here,  but rather our own home grown terms interspersed by more accepted radio jargon.

 

"3's" or 73's" -- Generally considered a wishing of best regards, normally done at the end of a conversation. Derived from the ham radio "73".

 

"8's or 88's" -- A more personal farewell , "88's" usually meant hugs and kisses.  Generally reserved for members of the opposite sex (hopefully!).

 

"Alligator Station" -- (All mouth and no ears) A station who transmits well, but doesn't hear as well.  Other than a radio or local noise problem, this commonly occurs when a station is running a large amount of power, which allows their signal to carry much further out than they can hear (Unless the distant station is also an "alligator").

 

"Ancient Mary" -- The AM mode.

 

"Banana" -- A carrier thrower or other jammer.

 

"Barefoot" -- Running stock (Legal) power. (Took off his shoes).

 

"Better Half" -- Someone's significant other (Wife, Husband etc.)

 

"Blowing Smoke" -- Putting out a strong signal.

 

"Boat Anchor" -- A big old tube rig, or other obsolete radio.

 

"Boots" or "Shoes" -- A slang name for an R.F. power amplifier. Ex: "We've got our shoes on tonight"

 

"Box" -- Another name of a power amplifier. 

 

"Breaker" -- Someone who wants to "cut in" on the current channel conversation in order to make a call.

 

"Brown Bottle" -- An alcoholic beverage, usually beer.

 

"Bumping (or Banging) Heads" -- When two (or more) people transmit at the same time and neither one can be understood. 

 

"Bumper-Humpers" -- Two (or more) mobiles (usually truckers) who run close together on the road with their squelches up and/or their RF Gain down chatting amongst themselves, while ignoring other stations more than a very short distance away, and seemingly oblivious to the interference they're causing to other people trying to use the channel. Their transient nature makes this usually only a temporary problem.

 

"Candy Man" -- Nickname for the F.C.C.

 

"Carrier" -- An unmodulated AM signal.  Usually accomplished by keying the microphone and not speaking. Transmitting a dead carrier is the most common method of jamming.

 

"Chicken Choker" --  Refers vaguely to an act of masturbation, IOW a metaphor for someone who's a jerk off.  Depicts a person held in low regard. Also refers to the grip to talk switch on a D-104 microphone.

 

"Coffee Break" -- A gathering of CB'ers looking to "eyeball" each other in person.

 

"Cotton Chopper" -- A variation of "Cotton Picker".

 

"Cotton Picker" -- A general term, the meaning of which varies according to the context in which it is used.  Could be used as an effective "PG"-rated grammatical substitute for "Mother F-cker".  Normally used to refer to another CB'er in a mostly negative connotation.   Ex: "That cotton picker is bleeding me over".

 

"Doctor" -- A radio technician.  Someone who fixes broken (sick) radios.

 

"Down In The Grass" -- A weak signal which is down in the noise.  Ex: "His signal is really down in the grass, he'd better put on his shoes."

 

"Duck Plucker" -- Also interchangeable with "Cotton Picker" and used in similar context.

 

"Eyeball" -- When you meet someone face to face.

 

"Fire in the Wire" -- Another slang term for cranking up the power.

 

"Golden Screwdriver" -- The preferred alignment tool of the "Screwdriver Technician".  A radio subject to the "Golden Screwdriver" treatment is probably not aligned correctly.

 

"Gallon and a Half" -- The full legal 1.5KW ham radio power limit.  Unfortunately, it's not legal on CB.  But that never stopped anyone so inclined.

 

"Grasser" -- Someone with a weak (Down in the Grass) signal.

 

"Heat" -- Yet another term for an R.F. power amplifier.

 

"Knocker" -- Someone calling another, as in someone knocking on the door.  Ex: "Who's that knocker calling the Rubber Duck?"

 

"Landline" -- Telephone service. Ex: "Give me a Landline" means "Call me on the phone".

 

"Lead Sled" -- A large, heavy luxury car, such as a Cadillac or a Lincoln.

 

"Megawatt Grassburner" -- A larger than typical  R.F. amplifier.

 

"Mercy Sakes" -- An expression of exclamation. Used in lieu of more colorful metaphors.

 

"Mud Duck" -- Someone with a weak signal.

 

"Mud Hole" -- A place low in height compared to the average surrounding terrain.

 

"My Goodness" -- Similar in use to "Mercy Sakes".

 

"My, My, My" -- A favorite expression used when tuning up or testing modulation.

"OM" -- Old man, also refers to someone's husband.

"Pin Cushion" -- A vehicle with many antennas.

 

"Pin Job" -- Initially this referred to a very strong signal which physically pins the needle of an "S" meter against the glass.  Later on, it meant the highest possible signal you could see on the meter. Ex: "When Bozo is running his amp, he gives me a Pin Job." Can also refer to the act of inserting a pin in someone's coax cable in order to short it out.

 

"Porch Monkey" -- A ghetto dweller, usually living on some sort of public assistance, who can barely afford to feed and cloth his family, but always has a top notch CB.

 

"Porcupine" -- Another name for a vehicle with many antennas.

 

"Puddle Jumper" -- A small economy car. When a puddle jumper becomes a Tuna Boat or Porcupine, it's a strange sight indeed.

 

"Red Zone" -- The area on an "S" meter between +10 and +30db (or higher). Thusly named because on some meters, it is actually colored red.

 

"Salt Mine" -- Place of employment.

 

"Sandbagger" -- Someone who listens much more than talks.

 

"Sandbagging" -- Listening, usually without announcing your presence.

 

"Screwdrivering" -- The act of attempting to peak a radio by a "technician" of limited knowledge.

 

"Screwdriver Technician" -- A person possessing some basic electronic skills, but with little or no test equipment or formal education. 

 

"Silly Side" -- Using the Single Sideband mode.

 

"Skip" -- The common name for enhanced ionospheric propagation, which enables CB signals to travel hundreds of miles or more.

 

"Slider" -- A variable frequency oscillator (VFO) or other means of continuously varying frequency.

 

"Smack" -- Short for "smacked ass". Another term of "endearment".

 

"Strawberry Patch" -- Same as "Red Zone".

 

"Stepped On" -- Someone who's signal was overpowered by a stronger station, is said to have been "stepped on".  Contrast this to "Bumping heads", where there is no clear "winner".

 

"The Candy Man" -- The F.C.C..  See also, "Uncle Charlie".  

 

"Three-Fiver" -- Another term for an individual who engages in the verbal equivalent of masturbation.

 

"Throwing a couple of logs on the fire" -- Also refers to turning on an amplifier, in the vein of turning up the heat by adding more wood to the fire.

 

"Tuna Boat" -- A mobile with co-phased 102" whips.

 

"Turning the House Around" -- Firing up an amplifier.  Equates to the action of increasing signal by turning a beam antenna in your direction.  Since an amp usually brings about a much larger jump in signal, it became comparable to "turning the whole house around".

 

"Uncle Charlie" -- Another name for the F.C.C..  Not to be confused with "Uncle Chuckie"  ;-) .

"XYL" -- "eX" Young Lady, in other words, the wife.

 

 

 

 

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